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Need to interview a Mechanical Engineer for project.

  1. Nov 15, 2008 #1
    I am a junior in high school looking to get into the mechanical engineering field. I have a college research project where I need to find information about the career I wish to do. Part of the project involves me interviewing someone already in the field I have chosen. It's just a few simple questions, and I would greatly appreciate it if someone could answer these.

    Thanks in advance.

    What is your job title and where do you work?

    Do you know an average starting salary? If you wouldn't mind, could you state yours?

    How long have you been in the engineering field?

    What type of equipment do you work with on a day to day basis?

    Is what you do very stressful? If so, do you have any tips on how to cope with it?

    Is it hard to balance your work life with your personal life?

    What do you like most about your job? What do you like least about your job?

    What is an expected time line for career advancement?

    Did you find going through college difficult? Do you have any tips on how to adjust with the classes?

    Was it hard to find a job once out of college?

    What advice would you give a student planning on entering this career?

    Again, thanks in advance, and I hope it isn't too much!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2008 #2
    I studied aeronautical engineering (basically mechanical with a few different courses in the final years) in South Africa and I now work in europe (Belgium). I'm not sure if this is suitable for your questionaire. It sounds like you could probably do better with someone from the US. If it is, then PM me and I'll supply with what information I can.
  4. Nov 17, 2008 #3
    That will be fine. Any input you have will help me greatly.
  5. Nov 17, 2008 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry I missed this before....
    Mechanical project engineer/design team leader and I work for an HVAC design firm.
    I suspect the starting salary for my firm, with a BS in Mech E would be around $55k, but I'm not sure. I've been working in the field for 6 years and have gotten pretty decent raises every year....
    Six years, not including some light (but real) work in the field in high school and college.
    I recently changed jobs and don't use as much as I used to, but about once a week I would use airflow and temperature measuring devices.
    Generally no, but with my new job and increased responsibility, it has been a little. The main thing is to simply accept the fact that work is work and as long as you do a good job, you'll eventually be rewarded for it. Then you won't let the potentially stressful things bother you. Put another way, stress is caused by stressing. If you don't stress about things, you won't feel stress. It is entirely a matter of attitude.
    My industry seems very good at paying people for the hours they work. As a result, they don't force overtime on you (because it doesn't help the company). I have friends in other industries that are paid on salary and expected to work 50,60, 70 hour weeks without extra pay. That's just not right.
    Those questions have the same answer: dealing with people. Engineering is easy because if you follow the rules, things work. Dealing with people is tough because people don't follow set patterns. That makes dealing with people interesting, rewarding, and painful all at the same time.
    The firms I've worked for expect people to advance. Entry-level engineers are expected in 5-10 years to become project/ design team managers. Depending on the size of the company, you could be a department level manager in 10-15 years and a partner in 15-20. And they get rewarded for that ambition. There is no fundamental limit to earning potential.
    It was for me. I started off with aerospace engineering and it was too tough. A lot of my problem, though, was attention span/burnout. If I knew how to make it easier to spend 40 hours a week studying, I'd tell you, but I don't know.
    No. If you pick a broad enough field and cast a broad enough net when you get out of college, you should be employeed within weeks of graduation if the economy is bad and you were a bad student. If the economy is good, and/or you are a good student, you can expect to have your job lined up long before graduation.
    Do it. It's tough, but it is rewarding.
  6. Sep 26, 2009 #5
    I hope you don't mind me using some of your answers for my class project in the class Principles of Engineering which Project Lead the Way has set up for many high schools. In which we are also required to do a report on a field of engineering of our choice, of which i choose Mechanical engineering of course. :) Thank you.
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